Review: Keeper (Fine Wine Theatre)

Keeper, a new play by Tanisha Taitt, debuts at Toronto’s Artscape Youngplace

When I walked into the small room at Artscape Youngplace to watch Fine Wine Theatre’s Keeper, I was greeted with one of my favourite quotations hanging on a wall as part of the set. It is a variation of the Buddhist maxim, “In the end, what matters most is how well did you live, how well did you love, and how well did you learn to let go.” Keeper, whether by accident or design, touches on each to a powerful emotional effect.

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Review: Stories from the Generation Gap (Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies University of Toronto)

University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies presents Stories from the Generation Gap 

Promotional image for Stories from the Generation GapIt’s always a bit of a challenge when first getting involved in a community of any kind, from a subculture to just your local neighbourhood. The LGBT community is no different with its wide array of networks and organizations and incredibly diverse population in Toronto alone. In Cameron Crookston’s Tales from the Generation Gap these challenges are placed under the spotlight, highlighting not only the varied experiences of a variety of individuals within the community but also showcasing a glimpse of not only Toronto’s LGBT history but North America as a whole through a verbatim script adapted from years of interviews.

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Review: Cherry Corsage (Videofag)

Cherry Corsage Cast: Brendan Flynn, Jake VanderhamToronto’s Videofag presents Cherry Corsage, a colourful show with queer references and ’90s music

The pink Starbust I’m sucking on, courtesy of the wonderful candy bar at The Citadel Theatre – where I just saw Videofag‘s Cherry Corsage – feels to me like a metaphor for the show: delicious, chewy, brightly packaged, pretty, full of incomprehensible ingredients, best enjoyed in small amounts, and not necessarily everyone’s favourite in the pack.

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Review: Cut (Radioactive Ladybird Productions)

Cut at The Storefront Theatre Toronto. From L to R: Laura Salvas, Seema Lakhani, Hartley Jafine. Photo by Tina McCulloch Radioactive Ladybird presents Cut, a play by Crystal Skillman at Toronto’s Storefront Theatre

Tonight, I was eager to see the play Cut, a comic drama about a production team racing against the clock to complete the season finale of a trashy reality series. The play is written by Crystal Skillman and produced by Radioactive Ladybird Productions at The Storefront Theatre.

It was my first time at this theatre and I was surprised at how decent it was considering the space they had to work with. Unfortunately, it was stifling hot in there and not only were my guest and I uncomfortable, but it was obvious the audience was too judging by all the program fanning I saw. Continue reading Review: Cut (Radioactive Ladybird Productions)

Review: Dissociative Me (Loose TEA Music Theatre)

11017449_866140460129054_4645031187363020049_nToronto’s Loose Tea Music Theatre Dissociative Me is an updated take on Gounod’s opera Faust

Dissociative Me by Loose Tea Music Theatre opened at the luxurious RED nightclub. My guest and I opted for a leather couch bathed in red light. Everything around us was dark and dripping with drama. It may not have been a grand theatre, but this location was striking enough for an opera. Especially for a show that describes itself as “not your grandfather’s opera”.

The show is based off of Gounod’s Faust, in which a scholar makes a deal with the devil for success and pays a heavy price for it. A more modern understanding of this tale would be in The Little Mermaid, when Ariel signs a contract with the seawitch Ursula. Whether you prefer Gounod or Disney, the cautionary tale is universally understood: don’t make a deal that you can’t pay for.

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Review: Porch View Dances (Kaeja d’Dance)

Photo of Amarai, Leslie and Lori Endes by Shana Hillman

Site-specific dance show brings performance to Toronto’s front porches

Site-specific shows don’t get more specific than the front porches of your friends and neighbours. That’s the idea behind Porch View Dances, a series of short contemporary dance works developed by Karen and Allen Kaeja of Kaeja d’Dance: it enlists community members and their porches and front lawns, the public-facing aspect of their living spaces.

These brave neighbourhood volunteers perform choreography by professional dance artists. Now in its fourth year, the award-winning show has branched out to Ottawa, Kitchener, and Moncton. It’s very approachable, being run by donation, and takes the audience on a charming walking tour through Seaton Village, a cosy neighbourhood just steps from busy Bathurst and Bloor.

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Radio Project and Until Tender-Crisp II (Erin Hill/ hog wild dance)

Choreographer Erin Hill does a fine job turning complex scientific inspiration into art in Radio Project, playing with Until Tender Crisp II as a part of the SummerWorks Dance series. Narrated and deejayed in the form of a radio show by Hill, the piece for two dancers merged scenes evoking the nostalgia of listening to the radio with choreography that mirrored the movement of the invisible but ubiquitous sound waves that surrounds us.

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